Most days I spend time tracking the Traveler, trying to figure out where he went this time, in what my waking mind says was a dream. Was he scouting the possible future again? Or having adventures in a parallel world or a past life situation? Or visiting the dead in their current habitats?
Tracking my traveling self is like trying to follow a series of subtle marks left on a forest trail – a broken blade of grass, a scratch in the bark of a tree, animal spoor that is not quite right.
But Robert the Traveler is not all that woodsy. He likes the play of words, often in languages I don’t understand. Then I am required to become a word detective and amateur linguist in my efforts to follow the traces he leaves in my groggy brain as it stirs awake, sometimes after the thump of a bumpy landing.
My efforts to track the Traveler are complicated by the fact that when he is on the road, I sometimes forget that we are not one and the same. He is never bound to the body and brain in the world where I am writing this. He uses different bodies, and I have learned that some of these are quite vulnerable to the physics of other worlds, so he is not simply a thought form or a creature of air.
What he goes through in his adventures sometimes leaves marks on my body, an effect that used to be called astral repercussion. When he flies across oceans or between worlds, I sometimes come back feeling more jet-lagged than I ever do after conventional air travel.
I continue to learn about this. In some of our excursions, I slip in and out of his perspective, joining in the action and then stepping back to assess the situation as an observer. This happens a lot. When it does, I don't waste time or blur focus by shouting to myself, "This is a dream!" or "I'm having a lucid dream!". I simply know that I have managed to achieve dual or multiple consciousness in the midst of an adventure in another reality. When I write this up in my journal, Robert the Recorder may tag it as a dream. But for Robert the Traveler the experience is entirely real, and what matters is making the right choices - with full consciousness that you have choice - whatever world you happen to be in.
Last night Robert the Traveler was in Brazil, talking to the dead and negotiating the price of a bundle of long, slightly greenish cigars. That's just a trip to the corner store for him. Last month he traveled to Ufa in 1943 and sat down with Stalin. In November, he traveled to Mongolia, jumping between two different times other than my own, seeking to foil a Nazi plot to locate and appropriate the spirit banner of Genghis Khan.
I wonder how Robert the Traveler looks at Robert the Writer, who has been holed up reading and scribbling for a few weeks of a bitterly cold Northern winter. Oh dear. I fear that some days the Traveler may look at me the way that Indiana Jones would look at a couch potato.